Phase Two of the Windermere Community Fitness Park is Now Complete!
Meet Vancouver's First Dedicated Table Tennis Court
Adrian Dix, the BC Health Minister was on hand to see the tables being delivered
December 29, 2023 – Windermere High School’s newly retired PE director Brad White was on hand along with BC’s health minister Adrain Dix when the Sanderson Concrete table tennis tables arrived on a rainy December 4. A week earlier, the long-awaited project kicked into gear with the arrival of the site preparation crew. The 70 feet by 14 feet concrete foundation was then poured and given a few days to cure. Mr Dix, a long time supporter of community recreation facilities, had approved Brad White’s $45,000 grant submission to fund the project nearly a year earlier.
The dedicated table tennis court, Vancouver’s first, is expected to become a popular feature of the fitness park. Brad White described the combination of table tennis court and fitness park as complementary when it comes to developing a personal fitness routine. Whereas the fitness park focuses on general fitness improvements like muscle strength, endurance and power, the table tennis court challenges the finer elements of fitness like agility, speed, balance, hand-eye coordination and skills development.
The Windermere Community Table Tennis Court is open before and after school hours on school days; all day weekends, holidays, and days when the school is closed.
What table tennis fans are saying about the new Windermere Community Table Tennis Court
A couple of days after the installation of the two table tennis tables, the skies cleared, the tables dried and table tennis fans could be seen busily whacking the small white ball. The tables are located close to popular walking routes and people this editor spoke with expressed their surprise and joy at suddenly seeing table tennis tables where last week there was nothing but weeds. For example, Biao and Yan, a couple visiting from Guangzhou, China spotted the tables while on a walk and now they play here every day when it’s not raining.
Others we spoke with included a couple of players who were also editors at PingPongInVancouver.com, a table tennis advocacy website focused on lobbying city officials for standardized table tennis infrastructure in Vancouver parks. While examining one of the two concrete tables, one editor took a deep breath and lamented on how Ping Pong In Vancouver has made zero progress to date getting table tennis into parks. While in the next breath, he marvelled at how quickly Windermere staff and Vancouver School Board had embraced the idea of a table tennis court. When asked about this, Brad White explained that the VSB empowers individual schools to develop under-utilized spaces on school grounds to create educational opportunities for their students. As a life-long racquet sport athlete himself, Brad immediately recognized the benefit of adding the table tennis court in the relatively long but narrow space. “Windermere Secondary has traditionally provided tennis courts for our students and the community, so this new court with two tables is a natural extension of the racquet sport theme”.
In the days following our chance meeting with the PingPongInVancouver.com editors, this review of the Windermere Community Table Tennis Court appeared on the website.
What's planned for Windermere Community Table Tennis Court?
With a grassy slope for seating dozens, the new table tennis court will likely become an official venue for seasonal outdoor table tennis tournaments starting in the spring of 2024. When contacted via email, the editors at PingPongInVancouver.com expressed a strong interest in hosting these tournaments. “We’ve always been keen to host table tennis-related events around town and the tables at Windermere would be ideal for a tournament”, wrote editor-in-chief Beeyo Raybow. “We are 100% for hosting an inaugural tournament this coming spring!” Reciprocating the commitment, we look forward to working with PPinVan to create a tournament format to accommodate as many players as possible.
There are three logistical issues that come to mind when planning for a tournament at a public court. The first is to maintain public access to the tables during an event. The second is to accommodate as many participants as possible despite having only two tables for the event. The third problem to overcome is creating a tournament format suitable for the event.
The solution to all three obstacles is a tournament format where individual matches are spread over a period of time, let’s say a month. Once registration has closed and the draw is ready, each participant would be given a list of players to play over the course of the month. Matches are then scheduled by players at a time convenient to both players. A “longitudinal” format like that would accommodate many participants in many events, while maintaining public access to the tables.
Look forward to a post announcing the first table tennis tournament at Windermere Community Table Tennis Court in the coming weeks both at this website and at PingPongInVancouver.com